Futures grind higher as Democrats win Senate control

THE US stock index futures climbed on Thursday as expectations of more pandemic aid under a Democrat-controlled US Congress lifted the mood ahead of jobs data, which is expected to show a rise in weekly claims.

The Labor Department’s report is expected to show the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose to 800,000 last week, likely due to increased restrictions to keep the spread of COVID-19 infections in check.

The more comprehensive jobs report for December is expected on Friday.

After a dour start to the week, financials and industrial stocks powered the Dow and the S&P 500 to all-time highs on Wednesday in hopes that some of President-elect Joe Biden’s policies could speed up a vaccine-driven recovery from the steepest downturn in decades.

But the tech-heavy Nasdaq, dominated by FAANG stocks that had led Wall Street’s rally from the pandemic lows, closed lower on fears that some of them could face antitrust scrutiny.

The Congress on Thursday formally certified Biden’s election victory, hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol in a harrowing assault on American democracy that briefly hit markets.

At 06:40am EST, Dow E-minis were up 82 points, or 0.27%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 14 points, or 0.37%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 74.5 points, or 0.59%.

Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs continued to climb in pre-market trading as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield hovered near 1%. [US/]

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc jumped 2.9% and was set for a record open after RBC Capital Markets upgraded its stock rating to “sector perform”.

US-listed shares of German biotech firm CureVac NV surged 20% after it struck an alliance with drugmaker Bayer to help it seek regulatory approval for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine and distribute doses. – Jan 7, 2021

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